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Traveling, living, loving, exploring and trying to make some semblance of sense out of this crazy world.  


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Designate Oak Flat a National Monument

Sign the Petition to protect OAK FLAT, ARIZONA 

Oak Flat located 2 miles East of Superior, AZ is the 2nd largest riparian
area in the US and needs to be protected from the
devastation of copper mining proposed by Rio Tinto, a foreign mega-mining company whose headquarters are in the UK and Australia.


All the copper extracted from Arizona will be leaving to go to Australia, Iran and China. 


The land is also a federally protected and sacred area to
the Apache Nation, managed by the Bureau of Land Management 
and the San Carlos Tribe and should never have been allowed to be
mined on. This land grab was done through a rider in the 'National
Defense Authorization Act 'which was renewed in December 2014 by

The San Carlos Apache Nation was moved to Miami, Arizona, then to the San Carlos Apache Reservation and now again a federal protected
tribe is being asked to leave Oak Flat, Arizona, Sacred Home of
the San Carlos Apaches. The proposed mining would virtually
stop all access to the sacred springs and Ceremonial Grounds.


This area is the second largest riparian area in the
country. Pristine areas and a fragile ecosystem  would
be forever desecrated by the implosion caused from the mining extraction process and it would leach into the water.


The Confederacy of the Six Nations which had been practiced
for over 800 years is the longest living democracy on earth.
It was incorporated into our government by Thomas Jefferson
and Benjamin Franklin to establish a new government for the
liberty and happiness of all people. 

Isn't it time we incorporate these measure of democracy of
the Sacred Tree and uphold the promises made to the First
Nations, the Native Americans, so we can all live in harmony with
natural laws for the benefit of all of our relations. 


The 'National Defense Authorization Act' that was introduced
in December 2014 needs to be revoked to support the very
energy resources we are protecting. This is why the First Nations
and in this case, the San Carlos Apache have been care
taking this land for all people and future generations.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An American Battle Cry- the documentary the Access Fund isn't talking about...

Ezekial Kelly and a group of film makers are trying to change history, with their production of An American Battle Cry

Looking south, from the power station, towards Apache Leap and Oak Flat Campground

The filmmakers are doing this against the wishes of the President and Congress, and without any visible support, so far, from the advocates who claim to be the voice of climbers; "built by climbers, for climbers".

Those would be the same fund-raising, enormo-casting advocates who claim to be strongly aligned with the San Carlos Apache tribes and the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, although there is also no evidence of that support, either. One glaring example is the fact that their Campaigns page is two years out of date on the issue of Oak Flat.

These are the same advocates who allowed EIGHT years of Resolution shenanigans to pass before appointing a full-time rep to take part in the Oak Flat fight.

(And don't get me wrong: Curt is a good man in a tight spot, undoubtedly the best representation you and I could hope for, certainly better than having the Golden Boy come down from Boulder to negotiate between press releases. But even as cool and determined and gnarly as the pebble-wrestling champion of the internet forums may be, Mister Shannon can't turn back time and erase the multitude of mistakes made by the AF and feuding locals.)

So..... don't wait on their cues, or follow their lead... we don't have another eight years.

Support the project, share the link, speak out and call the advocates on their lack of participation. Ask Brady and the Boys why we have seen not a single AF sign or spokeman in, or Af webpage article/statement on, any demonstration regarding Oak Flat.

The crag you save may be your own.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Desert Winter

Running up the fun 5.3 on the Boy Scout Wall. Later, Rich would remind me that I had recommended developing the area to him in the first place.

Good idea, Mike...

Miss PinkPants sends!
After almost four months off rock, Cindy came back strong and had fun all day on the ultra-quality pocketed volcanic stone of Wind Ridge.

Two old guys, somewhere on Wind Ridge, above the Wash Trail leading to Northern Devils Canyon

Southern Cross boulder, far rim of the canyon, seen through the gap between towers in the East Wall of the Troll Hut

Rich LeMal; Mesa hardman, enthusiastic fisherman, Sunday school teacher, and early route developer of Apache Leap and Devil's Canyon, pulling into the overhanging jugfest of Resolution, a 5.9+ Cindy and I left in our wake in the Troll Hut, a little climbing area perched on the western rim of Northern Devil's Canyon.

Witness Protection Program Group Photo. End of the day on the Troll Hut trail. Thanks again to Rich LeMal for coming out to meet, camp and climb with us.

See you next trip!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Occupy Oak Flat- A Peaceful Demonstration

Please join us if you can.

Looking forward to seeing Tommy and Kevin, Lynn and Conrad, Chris, Steph, Alex and all the rest of the celebrities who I know will lend their fame and support to the Native tribes and climbers of the area.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I guess it's all a matter of perspective; inside the fishbowl getting paid to play or wishing you were, or accepting that what is important is outside the glass, in front of the screen, out in the really real world; getting your hands dirty and dealing with the thing we call Life without media attention or reward.

You want to know what's impressive?
A 49 yr old stroke victim with Multiple Sclerosis, degenerative disc disease that required three surgeries for an almost complete rebuild of her spine, and arthritis under her knees, who put on a harness and shoes, tied into a rope for the very first time and made not a single dime to claw and yank her way up a forty foot cliff, through green briers and bugs and humidity, to reach the anchors and return to earth, bloody but unbowed.

Frozen hands are no deterrent on an early January TR ascent of Gypsies, Reed's Creek, with Pyro Pat grinning on belay, just waiting his turn.

Who, for the next four years, dwelt in campgrounds and tenements, trailers and old apartment buildings, survived copperhead bites and black mold, Greyhound Bus Lines, interstate traffic, NFS Law Enforcement, slackers, crackheads and bedbugs to chase a dream she had never imagined living; went on the road, crossed America five times by small trucks and large, twice by bus (God help us), discovered Mt. Eldon and the Kachina Peaks, the Grand Canyon and the Superstitions, fell in love with Oak Flat and Devils Canyon, Priest Draw and Sedona, even as she fought the ravages of her disease and the withdrawal from experimental medicines that had been killing her for a decade.

Cindy in May of '09, after almost a decade of experimental medicines

Cindy, five years later, belaying the first ascent of a new line in the Troll Hut of northern Devils Canyon,
Queen Creek, AZ.

Who spoke out about medical cannabis and alternative medicines to other patients suffering from MS and neurological disorders, who, like her, had been lied to by the big pharmaceutical companies, abandoned by their own doctors and made into felons by their government, all for the crime of choosing medicines that are not produced by million-dollar campaign donors.
Between these battles, Cindy discovered Joshua Tree, wandered the Sonoran Desert and the Rocky Mountains, lived above 10,000 feet with moose and bear for constant companions, was robbed, stranded and starving, frozen, battered by tempests and sometimes filled with unspoken doubts, but she continued to speak out, came through the storm and still managed to smile and believe.

You want to lionize someone?
How about some who saw a need and responded?
After raising two children of her own and living a full life of service as a nurse's aide, EMT/Firefighter 1, caterer, baker and sales associate, Cindy put herself aside and, with no corporate sponsors or media attention, went out to offer her help and comfort to families in the wake of Katrina, served as a Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Center Hostess and helped build new homes for families in slowly-dying West Virginia mountain towns like Circleville, Franklin, Petersburg, and Upper Tract, and offered hope, food, and a touch of holiday joy among the poor and homeless of Flagstaff, Mesa, and Apache Junction, Arizona.
With The Gang, outside the Flagstaff Family Food Center, where Cindy cooked and volunteered to serve while I worked as Production Assistant and Security.

Pearlington, Mississippi, ten days after Katrina.

Who managed to live on a fixed $1200/month disability income, while feeding dozens of volunteers who built and/or repaired hundreds of feet of trail in half a dozen crags, all while lending moral and spiritual support to the efforts her curmudgeon of a husband, in his quixotic quest to create new climbs while reducing impact and raising climber awareness and responsibility across the continental U.S.?

Nobody you're going to read about in any of the climbing magazines or on the Internet spew sites.

Most true heroes are only remembered after they are gone, and respect is often garnered only by those who have the most time in the limelight.

The Dawn Wall?

Yeah... whatever.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Check it out, share and support a disabled EMT and Nurse

Owlfeather Jewelry and Crafts is the creative page of Cindy Gray.

You can find her incredible and inspiring story here

Supporting this site is giving a helping hand to a lady who has given and continues to give to so many people in so many ways; climbers, travelers, homeless families, veterans, seniors... Cindy has reached out to touch them all in the years of her life.

She can be reached via email at owleyes61@yahoo.com for any questions or comments.

All items are reduced for spring, with a lot of new designs and items coming soon, so keep checking in!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Eternal Sunshine

Simon Moore, setting out on "Internal Dialogue", a Mike Gray original. To the right, Phee Lafroy gets ready for some top-rope fun on a Ryan Lee Eubank moderate, "A Roll of the Dice", with Lori Wilkins on belay.

Great day out with my beautiful wife and some hard-climbing youngsters.

Pheobes and Lori get in one last order from Dr. Taco.

Simon ends the day on "Fire on the Mountain", as twilight falls over the crag.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Support Climbing Access- Just Say "NO" to the Access Fund

Please take a moment to donate to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.

In fact, I recommend that you send them your annual Access Fund dues.

Then, when you get your friendly, annual AF reminder of payment due, just pull out the "NO Postage Required If Mailed in the United States" envelope inside, politely explain in a short note that you have invested in someone who is actually working to preserve access, sign it and drop it in the mailbox.

Just Say "NO" to sell-out, corporate-friendly advocacy.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Access Fund, Where the F*ck are YOU?

Does anyone besides me find it very, very interesting that the Access Fund hasn't sponsored dozens of ads with climbing celebrities in an effort to derail this bill?

In fact, I haven't heard of a single climbing celebrity speaking out on this- nothing from Bobbi Bensman, Beth Rodden, Tommy Caldwell, Robyn Erbesfield, Alison Osius, Mike Pont, Boone Speed, Conrad "Climate Change" Anker, or any of the dozens of other well-known climbers who have put their faces in ads and promotions for the Access Fund, many of whom have also climbed and competed in Queen Creek and the Bouldering Competitions.

Not a peep from the two most powerful names in climbing, Lynn Hill and Chris Sharma.

And yet no one else seems to find this peculiar.  No one is calling the Access Fund out on their silence and absence of action.

I'm calling on Brady Robinson, Joe Sambataro and the rest of the AF-

You have allowed a cretin and his employees to endanger and ruin access here in the Panhandle of WV, letting him remain in place as your Regional Access Coordinator when he has indicated no interest in coordinating anything more complex than a bowel movement, much less sustaining local access.

If you haven't been bought off by Rio Tinto, if your really are more than just a glorified Facebook page and social club for dog owners who climb, then you need to get into the fight in Arizona. Curt is a good man, and Manuel R is another, but they are vastly outgunned and outnumbered, and you know it....

Just as you've known it for the decade you have been handling this fight with kid gloves.

You won't fight to stop the President and Congress from giving away climbing... why are climbers, your members, supposed to believe you will make any further effort on their behalf in any other fight, anywhere else?

Just how much did you get paid?

Prove the truth, one way or another; put up or shut up, and get ready for me to start sharing emails that I know you don't want your members to see, regarding our little situation here in the East.

Your continued silence will be taken as an admission of guilt.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Saving Oak Flat, the Petition

So, now that the Flat and much of Apache Leap and Devils Canyon has been given to foreign miners who supply peaceful nations like Iran with parts for their reactors, we will go hat in hand to the distinguished gentleman on Pennsylvania Avenue, who tried to whitewash (so to speak) his treachery by giving Bristol Bay protection

(after watching Keystone slide right through Congress like a Happy Meal and then personally going to the Hill to whip the Spending Bill through when Democrats reacted to the level of pork and unrelated riders in a defense bill)

who just denied Washington, D.C. voters the legalization they demanded, but de-funded the DEA's ability to raid pharmacies or arrest patients

(Which pretty much continues the war on those folks who are marching outside his windows demanding justice and respect from the police.)

No matter what the advocates tell you is a victory, don't suck up crumbs and call it a feast, kids... that's how we, your older peers, let this whole mess slide too far over the edge in the first place, 'k?

Here, however, is the link to the petition.

Stop the Apache Land Grab

Sign it, share it.

Speak out, even if you don't believe in the system.

Make it known that you stood with the planet and the people, not the corporations and their sell-out politicians.